WASHINGTON, D.C. — During yesterday’s highly explosive, sometimes contentious, and undeniably historic testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, Senator John McCain ended up grabbing a bit of the spotlight for himself, albeit in a less than flattering way.
Mr. McCain was the last member of the Senate Intelligence Committee to grill Comey over his conduct as it related both the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, as well as during last year’s presidential election. President Donald Trump has publicly said that he fired Comey for conflicting reasons. First, Trump claimed the firing came because of how badly Comey botched the Clinton email investigation and that the rank and file at the FBI had lost confidence in Comey — a claim thoroughly denied by several people, including the acting FBI director.
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During his questioning, McCain careened wildly between the two investigations, at one point seeming to imply that one investigation couldn’t be going on while another was. While many would assume that the two are separate issues, and that McCain’s questioning of Comey about Clinton’s email server wasn’t even germane to discussing Trump’s behavior and whether he was attempting to obstruct justice, McCain was unapologetic. Twenty-four hours later, though, congressional janitor crews came into the committee hearing room and found the Arizona Republican still in his seat on the dais, interrogating an empty chair.
“That’s like saying you can have vanilla ice cream AND chocolate ice cream in the same bowl,” McCain was shouting as the cleaning crew came in, “and that’s just not right. You know it, I know it. You can’t have more than one variety of a thing together. It’s a recipe for confusion and panic, and frankly mistakes.”
Despite attempts by the cleaning crew to get Senator McCain to leave the dais, he demurred.
“I will not end my line of questioning,” McCain barked, “I have been on this committee a long time. I served in the first Continental Congress for Chrissakes. I’m older than dirt itself, and you will show me some respect while I taco monkey fart disco dance the witness!” Senator McCain pointed toward the chair in which Comey had sad the previous day, but was now occupied by a stuffed bunny rabbit.
The janitorial staff had an idea and called Senator Lindsey Graham down to the hearing room. When Graham arrived, he assessed the situation. He agreed with the staff and said it was time for McCain to go. Graham had an idea.
“John,” Senator Graham asked, “would you like to come with me?”
McCain shook his head “no.” That’s when Graham had an idea. He smiled and tried again.
“John, there’s a foreign country outside, and no one’s going to war with them,” Graham hinted, “it’s just a little ol’ country all on its lonesome, mindin’ its business. You know what you want to do, don’t you John?”
McCain suddenly stopped rambling. He stood up, and straightened his tie. McCain nodded, knowingly.
“I wanna arm the rebels,” McCain said emphatically.
“Let’s go arm some rebels, John,” Graham agreed. The two men left the hearing room, arm in arm, war boners trying as hard as they could to escape their trousers, or “breeches,” as Graham calls them. Though he knew it was a ruse, Graham’s war boner was every bit as real as McCain’s, and he figured they could always find an excuse to start a war, especially with the GOP in control of all three branches of government.
President Trump has yet to fill the vacancy left by Comey.
You can follow James on Twitter @JamesSchlarmann.